Samsung said it created a business unit at Harman to be tasked with autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems.
It’s fair to say the autonomous driving industry is really heating up.
The world’s largest smartphone maker is breaking into the automotive technology world.
The new Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will invest in connected vehicle and autonomous driving technologies covering artificial intelligence (AI), machine vision, smart sensors, safety features, cybersecurity, and more. If there was any remaining doubt about its intentions in the connected auto sphere, last November Samsung announced plans to acquire Harman in a whopping $8 billion deal – Harman specializes in connected vehicle software and services.
Samsung’s investment in TTTech is the first investment from its $300 million fund to strengthen its technology pool for autonomous driving, such as artificial intelligence and security.
John Absmeier, vice president of smart machines for the Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center and former director of Delphi Automotive Plc’s autonomous vehicle project in Silicon Valley, will lead the new unit, which was announced Thursday at the Frankfurt motor show. “At Samsung, we see it as our responsibility to invest in the technologies that will revolutionize the way we live, work, and connect with one another”, said Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board for Harman, in a press release.
Samsung Electronics has entered into a strategic partnership with TTTech, which will develop new open-innovation platform for ADAS/AV systems.
“If we were not acquired by Samsung, in five years’ time we would have been struggling”, Paliwal said. “This strategic business unit demonstrates Samsung’s and Harman’s commitment to answer that call – to be the definitive partner for seamless and integrated technologies”.
The two will focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies and artificial intelligence, as well as connectivity and cloud solutions that enable ADAS and automated driving, it added.
In a statement announcing the unit, Samsung was careful to note that it won’t enter the car-manufacturing business, positioning itself as non-threatening ally to automakers.